IHA Examines Possible New Show Sites Amid Rising Costs At Chicago’s McCormick Place

The International Housewares Association, responding to Chicago-area media inquiries regarding the status of its renewal with McCormick Place to host the International Home + Housewares Show, said it is assessing possible alternative and potentially more cost-effective sites for the show although it hopes to keep the show in Chicago.

Chicago media have speculated on the status of major trade shows at McCormick Place since the venue lost two shows— one for the plastics industry and one for the health industry— last fall. Rising trade show costs at McCormick Place have been reported to be a growing concern among groups that run trade shows there.

The IHA in 2008 extended with McCormick Place through the 2011 show.

In a prepared statement released by the IHA, Phil Brandl, IHA president, said that while the association’s board applauds recognition by Chicago and Illinois officials of the need for cost reductions at McCormick Place, the IHA board authorized an examination of potentially less costly venues.

The Home + Housewares Show has been held in Chicago since 1939.

“It is our hope to remain in the city of Chicago for years to come,” Brandl said in the statement released by IHA.

“Our Board of Directors, recognizing the importance of reducing costs for exhibitors, recently passed a resolution directing IHA staff to undertake an assessment of alternative venues in the event that all parties involved have not made significant progress toward cost reductions at McCormick Place at the time we must make our decision to renew our contract for the 2012 Show. ”

The IHA said its show generates an estimated $75 million in revenue each year for Chicago-area businesses.

“We encourage all stakeholders involved in the McCormick Place business model to participate in reducing costs so that Chicago can become competitive with other viable convention centers,” Brandl said in the prepared statement.

Brandl’s statement didn’t specify possible alternate venues for the Home + Housewares Show. It was reported that convention centers in Orlando and Las Vegas could be among the most suitable candidates because of the show’s size.